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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Science advice for EU’s development policy on thin ice

The scientific board set up in 2012 to advise on the development policy of the European Union (EU) has provided a much-needed link between science and development, but its future is now uncertain, insiders say. Board members say the Scientific Advisory Board on EU Development Policy has forged crucial links between European researchers and policymakers and should not only continue, but also have its mandate strengthened. However, the board will instead be officially dissolved once the new development commissioner, Neven Mimica, takes office November 1.­­­­­ He would not comment on the fate of the board until then.

The board, initiated by outgoing development commissioner Andris Piebalgs, was officially registered as a temporary body. It comprises eight leading social scientists and economists handpicked by Piebalgs.“There needs to be strong interaction between the people who produce knowledge and the people who are using it.” The board’s set-up was deliberately kept informal, according to Piebalgs, who says the idea was to have a group of experts with whom he could test potential policies for the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DEVCO), the part of the European Commission that manages his portfolio. “It worked well as an informal sounding board,” he says. 

Source: scidev.net